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Now for today's advocacy update . . .
The Great Recession of 2007-2009 was painful for many individuals and families in Ohio. Statewide, the recession included:
- the loss of 430,500 jobs
- 238,900 new unemployment claims
- 169,300 unemployment benefit exhaustions
- 85,483 foreclosure filings in 2010 (up from 64,913 in 2005)
These losses contributed to a large increase in the poverty rate as my coworker Will highlighted in yesterday's email. However, increased poverty in Ohio is not just a temporary phenomenon of the Great Recession.
Prior to the recession, poverty was actually increasing at the same time that the number of jobs was growing. Many Ohioans were finding work, but still struggling to make ends meet.
The 2011 State of Poverty in Ohio series (published by the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies and prepared by Community Research Partners) highlights this trend, along with policies and programs that help people move out of poverty while benefiting communities and the state economy.
One such solution is to invest in human capital in the form of food, health care, housing, child care, and early education to enable all adult Ohioans to fully participate in the labor force.
Call your senator and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chris Widener (614-466-3780) today to talk about investing in programs that help people move out of poverty and benefit the local and state economy. Here is a message to share:
This budget must offer the working poor and vulnerable Ohioans a lifeline. Our state must invest in vital human services to enable my struggling neighbors in your city to move toward self-sufficiency and a life of dignity. If we disinvest in basic needs and services, we will not have an educated, healthy workforce ready to take advantage of new jobs and economic growth when prosperity returns.
Economists can point to evidence that helping individuals and families meet basic needs and move toward self-sufficiency is not only the right thing to do in hard times, but is also a cost-effective way to recover from a recession and mitigate future downturns.
Please prioritize investing additional revenue in vital safety net services.
If you prefer to send an email to your senator and Senator Widener, rather than make a phone call, click here.
It is critical that you educate yourself and your lawmaker about how health, human service, and early care & education programs relate to the local and state economy. These programs serve as workforce supports that help people out of poverty, improve the lives of children and families, and strengthen communities.
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Thanks for continuing to speak out and advocate. We value your voice.
Scott Britton, Coordinator